Serving Colorado's Counties

Technical Update vol. 26 no. 13 - Federal Child Labor Regulations

March 29, 2022

The Fair Labor Standards Act restricts the use of child labor. The most recent changes to the law in 2010 expanded and clarified the types of activities and occupations forbidden to youth under the age of 18. Review the various restrictions to ensure that your county is in compliance. Remember that even where the rules do not apply to volunteers, allowing a minor to engage in an activity that is regulated or considered hazardous can increase potential liability in the event of an injury.

Representative Hazardous Duty Restrictions on Youth Aged 16-18

Generally, hazardous occupations involve using or exposure to various hazardous tools, power-driven equipment, and naturally dangerous conditions such as heat, pressure, fire, chemical hazards, explosive substances, and the like. Here are some examples:

  • Occupations in or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles
        containing explosive components.
  • Occupations of motor-vehicle driver and outside helper on any public road.
  • Occupations in the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill, or cooperage stock mill.
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven woodworking machines.
  • Occupations involved in the operation of power-driven hoisting apparatus.
  • Occupations in connection with mining, other than coal.

Representative Hazardous Duty Restrictions on Youth Aged 14-16 and Younger

This would include all restricted activities for the older age group, plus the following:

  • Occupations that involve operating, tending, setting up, adjusting, cleaning, oiling, or repairing any
        power-driven machinery including, but not limited to, lawnmowers, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, trimmers,
        cutters, weed-eaters, grass edgers, food slicers, grinders, choppers, food processors, cutters, food cutters, and
        food mixers.
  • Any outside window washing that involves working from window sills or using ladders, scaffolds, or substitutes
        for ladders or scaffolds.
  • Transportation occupations including rail, highway, air, water, pipeline, or other means; warehousing & storage.
  • Communications and public utilities occupations.
  • Construction of all kinds, except office work or sales that don’t involve performing duties on trains, motor
        vehicles, aircraft, vessels, or other means of transportation, or at a construction site.

These provisions may be viewed on the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) website. Child labor regulations are covered in Title 29, Subtitle B, Chapter V, Subchapter A, Part 570 -Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation. Be careful to review both the CFR and the links to the Federal Register Material.

What This Means for Counties

Review your youth employee occupational assignments and determine a plan for addressing any needed changes. For more information, contact CTSI at (303) 861 0507.

A PDF of this Technical Update is available here.

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